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Thread: World Trade Center Endures. Read the Signs.

  1. #16
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    Just a few reasons why the name Freedom Tower is bad: tacky, obvious, banal and trite. For the same reason "let's roll" was hideously used to evoke some sort of gut-American hooha, this smells too.

  2. #17

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    You don't think "Let's roll" is an important phrase? It is what the passengers said right before they stopped those evil psychopaths from destroying even more. If those words weren't spoken a lot more could have been destroyed. I wouldn't support running around all day chanting "lets roll", but the phrase has some significant meaning to it. I don't hear it used often. I only hear it on the news, where it deserves to be.

  3. #18

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    It's not the phrases that give offense it's the exploitation that stinks

  4. #19
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    Actions are more powerful then words. "Let's Roll" is great, but the fact that they stopped those terrorists from Taking Out Air Force One/The White House/The Capitol Building is better.

  5. #20

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    Oh yes, I agree with that completely. Some of it was exploited, and thats horrible. Some people exploited a tragic day. But let's not overdue it and make the phrase itself sound bad. Using the word "Freedom" shouldn't be completely stopped because it is always viewed to be "arrogant" or "over-patriotic". I think naming the biggest building on that site the "Freedom Tower" is justified. If they renamed the city "Freedom Land" or "Freedom Ville" then of course it'd be ridiculous. But naming one building something patriotic isn't horrible, and it can be inspiring as well. But this is digressing so I'm gonna stop complaining for now .

  6. #21
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    I just find it kitschy. One of the operating names at the beginning of the process was "Liberty Square," and I think that's a bit more dignified.

  7. #22

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    TLOZ Link5 I admit that "Heroes Park" and "September 11 Place" would not be out of place next to Pancho Villa Plaza in downtown Tijuana.

  8. #23
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    That's true also. But I like the Wedge of Light.

  9. #24

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    There was some confusion, it seemed, over where the new Freedom Tower's roof ends and where the spire ends. In one posting they said the roof would end at 1776 feet and the spire/antenna at 2100 feet. Skyscraperpage.com agrees with that one. http://www.skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=7788

    However, how come in the renderings the antenna/spire looked the same height? And how come so did the roof of the small part of the building? The roof of the real office tower does look higher but that is all. If anyone can straighten this out further please do.

  10. #25
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    They were not renderings...they were MASSINGS. Don't go by them.

    Wait for the RENDERINGS sometime next month.

  11. #26

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    What's In a Name? For the WTC, a Lot.

    By Akiko Busch

    There are 93 World Trade Centers worldwide. So what bearing, if any, does this fact have on establishing the name of the trade center currently under development in downtown Manhattan? This was one of the questions raised at "Starting at Zero: Reinventing the Identity of the World Trade Center Site," a panel discussion held Sept. 24 at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. The purpose of the event, which was sponsored by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, New York Chapter, was to reflect on the issues around the moniker of the sixteen-acre Ground Zero site; consider how the site's identity can be rebuilt; and most of all, think about how a name had the power to reflect our views of the city.

    An odd fusion of sensibilities has already formed around the "World Trade Center" moniker. It has been no surprise that corporate interests want the Trade Center's name to remain the same: When the rebuilt PATH Station opens in November, it will be called the World Trade Center Station, and both the Port Authority and leaseholder Larry Silverstein have clearly stated their intent to use the WTC moniker for the site.

    But other New Yorkers who have no financial stake in the new development also favor keeping the name. They believe that the monolithic nature of the original towers and the scale of the catastrophe that brought them down give that place name an immutable power and resonance; the site will be forever associated with the towers and their collapse. Efforts to change the name would simply be a pointless--and offensive--branding exercise.

    Panelist Joshua Sirefman, COO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) observed that unlike the towers preceding them, the new buildings in the Libeskind/SOM plan would constitute a series of places (and functions)--retail, cultural, memorial, transportation hub, office space. But that said, the name "World Trade Center" has evolved, and he suggested the other identities of the site be established within that. "It will still be the financial center of the world," he said. "The name helps to convey that."

    Other New Yorkers are of a different mind. If the monumental twin towers were expressions of 1970s urbanism, these citizens hope that the new buildings will represent a urbanism more responsive to its times--a complex of buildings that are more sustainable, more connected to the city around them, more human, more humane.

    "This is a working neighborhood, not an isolated financial center, and the more the name reflects that, the better," said architect James Biber. He was echoed by graphic designer Ann Harakawa, who suggested that "a name can reflect these opportunities."

    Believing that a new name can resonate with new intent and a new identity, architect Rick Bell, the executive director of the New York chapter of the AIA, stated, "This is a chance to do something better." Perhaps most important, moderator Susan Szenasy asked, "Is it possible for us to think beyond ourselves, beyond our own experience?"

    Panelists also discussed accuracy in place names. The McGraw Hill Building, the Chrysler Building, and the RCA Building have all ceased to serve their original developers and tenants, yet their names remain embedded in popular memory and imagination. Certainly World Trade Center is a powerful name, and its failure of accuracy is probably irrelevant in New York City, where all manners of place names like Madison Square Garden and Battery Park are used unquestioningly. "Powerful names," said Biber, "have a way of sticking around. Names are tenacious. The best ones are the ones that are colloquial."

    An audience member questioned whether honesty was more important than accuracy. "There is a concept in psychology of the good mother," the member said. "This is a mother who is OK--not a great mom, but not a terrible one, either. Can't we adapt this concept here? A good enough name would be OK. What we need most to be watchful of are dishonest names. We have a long history of dishonest names in this country--think of all the places named after Native Americans after we wiped those populations out. Let's just strive not to be dishonest."

    "Having a meaning in a name is a wonderful thing," Harakawa said, but it seems to remain open whether such meaning need necessarily be rooted in history. The executive director of the Port Authority told the New York Times recently the name World Trade Center is "a statement of respect for those who died there and what happened there. At the same time, I think it's a statement of hope."

    If it's a statement of hope you're after, it would seem only logical that you might choose a name not reflective of the past but resonant with the future. But in September 2003, that seemed to be only one more uncertainty about the sixteen-acre site. If there is any consensus two years after the towers' collapse, it seems to be that the names of urban places be decided by the public rather than by an institution. As one member of the audience said, "In the end, having a voice is more important than what it's called."

    A writer and editor, Akiko Busch was one of the principal organizers of the "Starting at Zero: Reinventing the Identity of the World Trade Center Site" panel.

    www.metropolismag.com

  12. #27

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    November 28, 2003

    Stuck in the Present Tense, Pointing to the Twin Towers

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP

    While "World Trade Center" signs around the new PATH station startled commuters and visitors this week, a smaller but even more poignant graphic remnant of the past was hiding in plain sight across Church Street.

    "What has 200 elevators, 1,200 restrooms, 40,000 doorknobs, 200,000 lighting fixtures, 7 million square feet of acoustical tile ceilings, more structural steel than the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and was built for a final cost of over one billion 1970s dollars?" asks the colorful sign between seven-foot cast-iron posts, outside Century 21, near the corner of Cortlandt Street.

    "That's right, the World Trade Center."

    Just over there. Where all that remains is sky.

    Rebuked by the rawness of ground zero, the sign continues ebulliently:

    "Now, every weekday, 50,000 people come to work in 12 million square feet of office, hotel and commercial space in the seven buildings in this city-within-a-city, where they are joined by 80,000 visitors passing through an enormous interior shopping mall."

    "As many as 10,000 visitors in a single day ride the non-stop express elevators from the lobby to the 107th floor in 82 seconds to take in the spectacular views of the city and its surroundings," the sign concludes.

    The trade center sign was one of 42 markers highlighting points of interest around Lower Manhattan, installed six years ago by a nonprofit group called Heritage Trails New York. They were written by Anthony Robins, an architectural historian and the author of "The World Trade Center" (Pineapple Press and Omnigraphics, 1987).

    It is the only one of those historical signs that history overtook. And it seems to have survived for the last two years in part because it was forgotten.

    Mr. Robins said this week that he had not known the sign was still standing. A spokeswoman for Century 21, which helped sponsor the sign originally, said, "This is the first time it was brought to our attention."

    And Carl Weisbrod, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, which has taken over maintenance of the Heritage Trails markers, said his organization was only now focusing on the fate of this particular sign.

    Should it remain in place, unrevised, as a kind of poignant memorial by default? Or should it be updated to serve those who rely on the site markers for current information? Is it too precious to risk outside, better suited to a new location like a museum or perhaps the World Trade Center PATH station?

    "We don't know yet," Mr. Weisbrod said. What he did say was that the sign would stay in place at least a year while the alliance planned the future of the Heritage Trail markers.

    That will give passers-by the chance to reflect, with Mr. Robins, on the lost innocence embodied in his text.

    "It was a symbol of that unbridled postwar optimism that you could turn around a city by building this incredible structure," Mr. Robins said in an interview. "It's so New York. Count all those tiles! Count all those pipes! Marvel at what's possible. And now marvel at how hard it was to put together and how many minutes it took to take it down. It's inconceivable."

    He paused. "It's not inconceivable. But it ought to be."


    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by TLOZ Link5
    That's true also. But I like the Wedge of Light.
    I'm more excited by Al Franken proposed exhibit "Wedgie of Right."

  14. #29

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    :roll:

  15. #30

    Default Freedom Tower

    Since you asked, why people don't like the name Freedom Tower. I find it kitchy and hokey. It also is wrapped up, in my mind, in all that post-attack "Freedom Fries" and "Freedom Toast" silliness. The triumph of Jingo-ism over substance (Ah-nold declaring it's time to clean house in Sacremento while coming out in favor of all things that are good and pledging to work against all things that are bad.)

    I just think we can come up with something a little more diginified and a little less Disney-fied.

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